Try Our Apps


Avoid these words. Seriously.


[kuh m-pley-suh n-see] /kəmˈpleɪ sən si/
noun, plural complacencies.
a feeling of quiet pleasure or security, often while unaware of some potential danger, defect, or the like; self-satisfaction or smug satisfaction with an existing situation, condition, etc.
  1. friendly civility; inclination to please; complaisance.
  2. a civil act.
Also, complacence
[kuh m-pley-suh ns] /kəmˈpleɪ səns/ (Show IPA)
Origin of complacency
From the Medieval Latin word complacentia, dating back to 1635-45. See complacent, -cy
Related forms
noncomplacence, noun
noncomplacency, noun, plural noncomplacencies.
overcomplacence, noun
overcomplacency, noun Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
Cite This Source
Examples from the Web for complacency
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • "It's a shame," she said, with a marked effort to subdue her own complacency.

    Miss Pat at School

    Pemberton Ginther
  • He might well think with some complacency of the influence he had exerted on the world.

  • Even as it was, I felt a slight degree of complacency at the circumstance.

    My Bondage and My Freedom Frederick Douglass
  • Calmer thoughts succeeded this little flicker of complacency.

    The Girl on the Boat Pelham Grenville Wodehouse
  • Mr. Burton Henderson accepted his wife's amendment with complacency.

    The Lovely Lady Mary Austin
British Dictionary definitions for complacency


noun (pl) -cencies, -cences
a feeling of satisfaction, esp extreme self-satisfaction; smugness
an obsolete word for complaisance
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
Cite This Source
Word Origin and History for complacency

1640s, from same source as complacence but with the later form of the suffix (see -cy).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
Cite This Source

Word of the Day

Nearby words for complacency

Word Value for complacency

Scrabble Words With Friends